Best Bike Trailers

Best Bike Trailers

June 28, 2017

Best Bike Trailers

Best Bike Trailers
Photo by @mrs_redel
There’s a lot to love about bike trailers: they can tote 1-2 kids (plus gear!), they’re comfortable for little passengers, and many convert into joggers and strollers. Ride on.Best Bike Trailers

There’s a lot to love about bike trailers: they can tote 1-2 kids (plus gear!), they’re comfortable for little passengers, and many convert into joggers and strollers. Families that bike consider them an essential for outdoor adventures.

Bike Trailer Basics

Trailers attach to your bike’s frame or rear axle. They have a sturdy exterior frame encased in thick, durable fabric with zippered closures. While there are no federal standards for trailers (or bike seats), the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that any trailer or bike-mounted child seat meet ASTM International safety standards. (Look for the compliance sticker on your product.) Experts recommend using a trailer on bike lanes and park paths, and steering clear of busy city roads.

The Pros

  • Children are buckled in, seated comfortably, and shielded from wind, rain, sun, and road debris.
  • They grow with your family. Trailers are designed for kids aged 1-6 with a weight limit of around 100 pounds (depending on the model).
  • Double trailers can carry two children at the same time.
  • Kids live the good life in a bike trailer (while you do all the hard work). They’ll stay occupied on longer rides by bringing along small toys, books, music, snacks and drinks.
  • Many trailers convert into a stroller and/or jogger for multi-sport use.

The Cons

  • There’s less interaction between you and your kids since they’re low to the ground and enclosed. It can also be hard to see them. Tip: Attach a small rearview mirror to your handlebars for a better view.
  • A heavy-duty bike trailer + a couple of kids = a hefty load for you to haul around. Make sure you have the cycling expertise (and stamina!) to carry your crew.
  • A double model is wide and can be harder to maneuver. If you’re a newbie, do a few test runs with a sack or two of potatoes inside the trailer (they’re way less demanding than toddlers).

Are Trailers Safe?

Consumer Reports considers bike trailers to be inherently safer than bike seats. Since they’re low to the ground, they can reduce injuries from falls. Many act as a “roll cage” for extra protection. The hitching device that connects the trailer to your bike keeps it upright should the bike go down.

Tip: For increased visibility, attach an orange safety flag that’s 3 1/2 feet to 7 feet high as well as reflective strips. Some trailers include the flag in the purchase.

Which Trailer is Right for Me?

The first step in choosing a bike trailer is figuring out how and where you’ll use it. Are you sticking strictly to biking or do you want a “multi-sport” trailer for jogging and/or day-to-day strolling? Consider the terrain and length of your rides.

And don’t forget to factor in budget: a no-frills bike trailer may cost a couple hundred bucks, while top-of-the-line options with conversion kits may set you back around $1,000.

Awesome Entry-Level Trailer

Why We Love It

The Burley Bee is a great pick for a high-quality bike trailer. It’s extremely well-constructed, lightweight, and durable. While it’s not the fanciest on the market, there are plenty of important (and useful!) features including comfy seating for one or two, five-point harnesses, tinted UV protected windows, and lots of cargo space for your diaper bag or groceries. All Burley trailers are equipped with a Flex Connector that keeps the trailer upright, even if the bike lays flat.

Keep in Mind

Storage is simple. The 20-inch alloy push-button wheels come off quickly, and the trailer folds down flat.

What Babylist Parents Say

“Great quality! it’s easy to fold down and store and the seat is a hammock seat, so it’s more comfortable than most!” -Becky D.

Additional Specs

Use: Cycling

Seating Capacity: 2

Weight Capacity: 100 lbs.

Weight: 19.95 lbs

Multipurpose Must

Why We Love It

This high-end Burley trailer comes at a heftier price tag than the brand’s more basic Burley Bee. It’s loaded with premium features like adjustable suspension, a moveable sunshade, bowed out sides for extra elbow room, reclining options, and padded seats for two. This trailer has optional conversion kits you can buy to enable strolling, jogging, or skiing—perfect for all kinds of sporty adventures.

Parents love the ergonomic adjustable handlebar that does double duty as a roll cage when biking. Need to haul cargo instead of kids? The seat unclips and lays flat so you can use the full trailer to carry whatever you need.

Keep in Mind

Conversion kits for strolling, jogging and skiing are sold separately, so be sure to factor that into your budget.

What Babylist Parents Say

“So light, easy to set up, seems comfy.” -Erin

Additional Specs

Use: Cycling, strolling, jogging, skiing

Seating Capacity: 2

Weight Capacity: 100 lbs.

Weight: 28.4 lbs.

Cream of the Crop

Why We Love It

This stroller/jogger/trailer/skier = THE must-have for sporty parents. The price will probably make your jaw drop at first glance (it’s around $1,000 for the two-seater), but active families who bike and run regularly say it’s worth every penny. The frame and fabric are super sturdy, keeping kids safe and comfy—rain or shine.

Notable features that make the Chariot Cross 2 a pleasure to use include: adjustable suspension, one-handed recline (for individual seats… because no two nap times are the same!), lots of cargo space, removable seat pads for washing, and an adjustable handlebar. The Chariot Cross 2 comes with the strolling and bike trailer attachments, and jogger and ski kits are sold separately.

Keep in Mind

Although it folds up nice and compactly, it is a heavy duty piece of equipment.

What Babylist Parents Say

“It’s solid! Does not have a hammock bottom, which I like. The fact that it turns into a stroller or jogger is a huge perk for our family. The boys can be comfortable together in it, or solo.” -Julia from Chicago Biking Family

Additional Specs

Use: Biking, strolling, jogging, skiing

Seating Capacity: 2

Weight Capacity: 99.2 lbs.

Weight: 31.96 lbs

Bargain Favorite

Why We Love It

The InStep Take 2 Double Bicycle Trailer is significantly cheaper than most bike trailers. So, if you want to take your tots out for an occasional ride on smooth pavement, and avoid breaking the bank, this is the way to go. It seats one or two children (but some say it can be a tight squeeze as kiddos get bigger). Bottom line: it’s lightweight, easy to collapse, and gets the job done on a budget.

Keep in Mind

The wheels are small (16 inches), the fabric isn’t as durable as high-end models, the weight capacity is only 80 lbs., and the seats can get a little saggy since they aren’t reinforced.

What Babylist Parents Say

“Pros: works well, fits one or two kids, folds up and down well, my son loves it. Cons: not as sturdy as other options.” -Jessica

Additional Specs

Use: Biking

Seating Capacity: 2

Weight Capacity: 80 lbs

Weight: 30lbs


Jessica Solloway is a writer and digital content strategist. From start-ups to global brands, she helps companies tell their stories online. She regularly contributes to websites including weeSpring, The Muse, Mommy Nearest, and Motherly, among others. She lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband and two little girls.

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